New Hampshire Town Sues ‘Robin Hooders’ Who Fill Expired Parking Meters
No one likes getting a parking ticket, so some citizens in Keene, New Hampshire, decided to do something about it. And now they’re getting sued for it.
The group calls themselves Robin Hood of Keene (“Robin Hooders,” for short), and they walk the streets of the small New England city with pockets full of change that they insert into expired or about-to-expire parking meters. They also leave a note: “Your meter expired; however, we saved you from the king’s tariffs, Robin Hood and his Merry Men.” (They also ask for donations and instruct drivers how to make them.)
If you had forgotten to refill your parking meter, surely you’d love to see a note like that on your windshield. But according to city officials—particularly those charged with writing the parking tickets—that’s not the whole story. Keene filed a lawsuit against six people (James Cleaveland, Kate Ager, Ian Bernard aka Ian Freeman, Graham Colson, Garrett Ean and Peter Eyre) who it claims “regularly, repeatedly and intentionally taunted, interfered with, harassed, and intimidated” the parking-enforcement officers, “surrounding, touching or nearly touching, and otherwise taunting and harassing” them.
Unsurprisingly, the Robin Hooders deny the allegations. “They say video recording or talking to them is harassing them, but I don’t agree with that,” said Cleaveland. He added that his group had helped residents avoid about 4,000 parking tickets. That’s a lot of lost revenue for the city, which it seems reasonable to guess is at least partly responsible for the city’s decision to sue.